Richard Rodríguez was the team’s closer for the first half of the season. Before being traded, Rich-Rod had a 2.82 ERA, 2.60 FIP, and 0.83 WHIP. Although Rodriguez was only striking out 22.8% of batters faced, he only walked 3.4% of opposing hitters while giving up just two home runs in 38.2 innings of work.
Rodríguez was shipped to the Braves for right-handers Ricky DeVito and Bryse Wilson at the trade deadline. However, Rodríguez would struggle in his new environment. He pitched 26 innings with the Braves, but his 3.12 ERA and 4.7% walk rate aren’t reflective of how he performed. He gave up six more home runs and saw his strikeout rate plummet to just 8.5%. Because of his struggles, the Braves excluded Rodríguez from their postseason rosters throughout their World Series run.
At the end of the season, the Braves non-tendered the right-handed reliever. He hit the open market and went unsigned for all of the winter. However, in a recent development, Rodríguez tested positive for a banned substance, leading to an 80-game suspension.